Just ignore Fleischmann... and Orr... and #6 over there...
Apparently the so-called “experts” at the Worldwide Leader
all picked the Rangers to win this series. Well, I don’t know they can be experts when they don’t even seem to have seen the replay — or apparently any hockey for the last two weeks. If they had, they might have noticed that the Caps dethroned the reigning Stanley Cup champs and number 2 seed, while the Rags struggled mightily trying to boot the 8 seed and fellow national capital Senators. (Aside: if you suspect someone’s Canadian but can’t be sure, ask them what the capital of Canada is. A) They will know it in the first place, which I doubt more than 25% of Americans do, and B) they will say OttaWA with a stressed final syllable, while Americans would say OTTawa, with the final syllable trailing off into a schwa.)
Anyway, only 3 Andy Sutton approved experts did not pick the Rangers to win. They were: Barry Melrose, proud mullet-wearer and the only person at ESPN who I would believe even watched a second of hockey since the lockout besides John Buccigross (who seems to make it his life’s goal to remind ESPN hockey exists, much to their chagrin), James Murphy (if you can’t guess where he’s from by his name, let me just say — he’s trying to make the last round less embarrassing in retrospect), and Jesse Rogers (the Blackhawks guy, so presumably he just wants to support Troy Brouwer).
Now Puck Daddy I can get behind. These aren’t a bunch of hastily cobbled together predictions from whoever happens to cover sports in that city, these people live and breathe hockey. So… the only guy who thought the Capitals would take it was Greg Wyshynski, Don Puck himself. Well, that’s not so bad (ignoring that he, like myself, picked the SC Final to be VAN-PIT). He knows his stuff, and even though he lives in LouCou (represent!) he’s a Devils fan, so it’s not a homer pick. The closest thing P. Daddy has to a homer is Dmitry Chesnokov, who covers Russians, which means he’s been around DC for the last couple of years (remember when we had Ovie, Sasha, Fedorov, Kozlov, and Varly? I’m going to cry), and he picked the Rangers. Booooo!
It’s time to give Braden Holtby the ultimate test of a Capitals rookie goalie: pair him against Henrik Lundqvist in the playoffs. Varlamov did it, and Neuvy did it, so let’s see if Holtby can. Meanwhile, we’ll stick a PR guy in net at Kettler and have all the skaters practice shooting high glove side (fun fact: when I play goaltender, my personal mantra is “don’t drop your glove hand or else you’ll embarrass yourself like (Vezina nominee) Henrik Lundqvist”).
I’d also just like to mention that Brian Boyle is skating again. Now, I’m not totally sure why it was he was out, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it was rehab, since my father and I watched 24/7 and he appeared to be completely hammered in every scene (my father: “that guy again? he must be an alcoholic or something”). What’s that? Concussion-related symptoms you say? Well, don’t I feel like a twat now.
Check out the Rags coverage on the Intermission Report, at least until the new girl gets her site rolling (and watch out for the shaving cream pies, rookie!). Game’s at 3. We are louder!
(Oh, right, my prediction. Caps in 7, what else?)